A full counter-terrorism operation was under way in London on Wednesday afternoon after an attacker rammed a car into a crowd on Westminster Bridge and then attacked a police officer within the security cordon of the U.K. Parliament at Westminster.
Five persons were killed in the incident, including the attacker who was shot dead after he stabbed a police officer, who succumbed to his injuries. Two persons, including a woman, died in the attack on the bridge with several others seriously injured, in what Scotland Yard described as a “terrorist incident.”
The Houses of Parliament and nearby buildings went into lockdown while Prime Minister Theresa May was ushered back to Downing Street following the incident that occurred around 2.40 p.m. Metropolitan Police Commander B.J. Harrington said a full counter-terrorism operation was under way and that the Acting Metropolitan Commissioner Craig Mackey had been at the scene of the incident.
Details of the incident were still emerging at the time of going to print but the leader of the House of Commons David Liddington said a police officer was stabbed and a person shot by armed police within the security cordon of the Houses of Parliament.
French students injured
Reports suggested that on Westminster Bridge, pedestrians were hit by a car that ploughed into them. Mr. Harrington said they had received a number of reports, including of a person in the river, a car colliding with pedestrians and an armed man with a knife.
The London Ambulance Service said they had treated at least 10 people with a number of others in hospital, while the port authority said a woman had been rescued from the river, with injuries.
Three French pupils on a school trip were among those hurt on the bridge, two of them seriously.
With many politicians still within Westminster, following the lockdown, a picture of the tense atmosphere emerged with many taking to Twitter to communicate their experiences of how the afternoon had unfolded.
Prime Minister Theresa May was chairing a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee at Downing Street when reports last came in.